Weekly Poker Roundup: March 26, 2016
David Baazov in Some Trouble
So Amaya CEO David Baazov can’t stay out of the news. The man who recently announced and then re-affirmed his intentions to purchase all of Amaya’s stock and take it private has been hit with five securities fraud charges by Quebec’s Autorité des marchés financiers (the “AMF”). The charges stem from Amaya’s acquisition of PokerStars’ parent company, Rational Group, in June 2014.
There were questions about a mysterious increase in Amaya’s stock price in the month leading up to the acquisition announcement, questions which led to an investigation beginning late that year.
As a result, the AMF has now charged Baazov and others with “aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, influencing or attempting to influence the market price of the securities of Amaya inc., and communicating privileged information.”
Baazov, for his part, denies any wrongdoing, saying, “These allegations are false and I intend to vigorously contest these accusations. While I am deeply disappointed with the AMF’s decision, I am highly confident I will be found innocent of all charges.”
PokerStars Gets More Expensive Monday
Most players don’t notice, but even when we win, it costs money to play poker. Of course, if you are visiting this site, you probably know all about rake, that little piece of the pot the poker room takes in cash games. That – along with tournament entry fees – is how the online poker sites make their money.
On Monday, March 28th, PokerStars will implement “revised pricing” in the form of a rake increase at many of its tables. Stars estimates that the increases will combine to result in a four percent overall rake increase across the entire site. In a blog post, Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Amaya Inc. and PokerStars, listed the following key rake changes:
- Rake for Spin & Go’s will be increased one percentage point for buy-ins from $1 to $30, except for the $3 buy-in tournaments, which will have a two percentage point increase.
- Re-buys and add-ons for multi-table tournaments will be raked.
- Multi-table tournament hyper-turbo rake will be upped to five percent.
- Rake will be increased (both percentage and cap) for some No-Limit and Pot-Limit cash games, especially heads-up contests.
More Promos, Tourneys at PokerStars
Ok, I guess this is the PokerStars Weekly Roundup this week. The world’s largest online poker room has announced both a new promotion and a new tournament series. The promo is called CardHunt and seems to cater to casual players, as it attempts to force players to play certain hands in order to win rewards. Every day from March 23rd through April 15th, PokerStars will give players an 18 to 20 piece puzzle, with each piece represented by a playing card. Players have to “hunt” the pieces at $0.05/$0.10 or higher cash game tables. When a player wins a hand, he acquires a puzzle piece if it corresponds to one of the hole cards he was dealt. Upon completion of the puzzle, a prize is awarded. Nine out of ten times, that prize will only be $1 or $2.50, but in ultra-rare occasions, it could be as high as $5,000.
The tournament series is called the Mountain Series, running April 7th through April 10th. It will consist of ten tournaments, each named after a famous mountain, with buy-ins that escalate as the tourney moves on. For instance, the first tournament is called “Sugarloaf” and costs just $11 to enter. The final tournament, Mount Everest, has a $2,100 buy-in and a $1.5 million guarantee. There are more than $4 million in guaranteed prize pools across all ten events.
…and I guess we’ll just finish this whole thing off by reminding you that PokerStars is now live in New Jersey!
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